How to find a herbalist
There are around 2500 herbalists in the UK. So, if you are trying to find a local registered herbalist, doing an internet search will likely give you some options. Google helps out a bit and offers you a “herbalist near me” search. Click this, and you might even have a list of websites for local practitioners. But, how do you choose? This article will explain how.
When you are looking for a clinical herbalist, it is a good idea to shop around. But do you know what to look for?
Finding a professional
Did you know that in the UK, anyone can call themselves a herbalist? Some have extensive training. But, the same is not true for all practitioners. Some may have never done a formal course in clinical herbalism or medicinal herbs.
So, first of all, check credentials such as herbalism qualifications. You should also look for membership in professional herbalist associations; see more about this later. And you can ask about insurance.
As an example, here is a summary of my qualifications and training in herbalism and functional medicine.
If your goal is to achieve optimum health with herbalism, make sure your chosen practitioner is a professional. Most professionals will offer a quick chat so that you can get to know each other prior to a full consultation.
Another way to find someone to work with is to ask people you know. A good recommendation can be even more important if you are looking for herbal health care for a specific condition.
In many areas, there are often support groups that get together and discuss natural remedies for a particular condition. So, joining a support group could be an excellent way to determine if anyone has seen someone in the herbal community for your specific health issue.
However, finding someone with the same ailments as you does not mean that their herbal remedy is correct for you. You see, the best herbal health care includes a bespoke treatment made specifically for you. Or at the very least, a carefully chosen combination of herbal products. In other words, a herb mixture tailored to your constitution, medical history and current conventional medicine. So, herbal formulas are rarely the same, even for a patient with the same malady as you.
Find someone reputable
Another ideal way to find a reputable herbal therapist is to check on the registers of professional associations.
In the UK, the longest-running association is the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (NIMH). They have high standards for membership and demand continuing professional development to maintain that membership.
Check their register for a medical herbalist near you.
Other professional associations include:
The College of Practitioners of Phytotherapy (CPP) is another professional membership organisation in the UK. It sets the highest standards for herbalism practice. All members are qualified to at least university level 6. And undergo a minimum of 500 hours of clinical training.
Phytotherapy is the practice of modern western herbal medicine. It combines contemporary scientific and evidence-based herbal practice with traditional knowledge and clinical experience. Core to the CPP’s mission is the integration of western herbalism with mainstream conventional western medicine.
Check their register for herbalists near you.
I admit that I have a bias towards the above associations. I am a member of both. But, here are some others:
Association of Master Herbalists. A member of this association may practice a blend of natural healing that includes herbalism and naturopathic techniques.
Check their register for herbalists near you.
The Unified Register of herbal practitioners is an international register of professional herbalists. Members in this association may practice a traditional system of herbalism, such as Tibetan or Unani Tibb, Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine
Check their register.
The Register of Chinese Medicine. Most members on this register practice a range of traditional Chinese medicine therapies such as acupuncture, herbal therapy and tuina. Follow this link to find your nearest member.
I can’t find a clinical herbalist near me
Though this page is about finding your local medical herbalist, there is always the possibility that you can’t find someone in your area.
In this case, you have a couple of options. You could travel a bit further. It is not uncommon for a patient to travel some distance to consult someone they trust. So, as long as you can travel, someone local is not your only choice.
In addition, many herbalists now offer telephone or online consultations. These appointments are very convenient. But bear in mind that the therapist will either have to post your remedies to you or direct you to another source.
To find someone that works online, you could use the Herbalist Directory. This directory categorises local herbalists, those working online and herbal shops. Making it easy to find the type of therapist you are looking for.
Most professional herbalists will keep a well-stocked herbal pharmacy at their herbal clinic. In this case, they can dispense your herbal medicine directly after a consultation. You will usually find that herbalists will stock the best quality herbal medicine. Your prescription might include herbal tea, tinctures, herbal creams and so on.
Of course, there is another option. The practitioner may post your prescription directly to you. Alternatively, they could direct you to online suppliers of quality herbal supplements with a recommendation of what to buy
It is also worth considering that some herbal practitioners also practice other forms of complementary medicine. For instance, they may have nutrition training, or practice homeopathy or acupuncture.
In addition, a herbal practitioner may specialise in herbal therapeutics for a particular health issue. For instance, a therapist may specialise in women’s or men’s health, diabetes, gut health or insomnia.
Whether you are hoping to achieve optimum health or just want to have more energy and less pain. I hope this article helps you to understand the differences between practitioners. As well as showing you how you might find someone with the diagnostic skills and clinical practice experience with medicinal plants. After all, you can find a lot of medical advice on the internet. Some of it may be relevant to you. But, more likely it is not. It is better to find someone that is experienced in a holistic approach. Someone that knows how to use this ancient practice in the modern-day and help you avoid any potential adverse reactions. For this, you need to find a reputable herbalist.
What does a herbal practitioner do?
Herbal practitioners can help with a range of health conditions. The focus is on improving health and quality of life, not just resolving symptoms. Finding what may have triggered the problem. Or, any factors that may perpetuate ill health. Then remove these factors so that you can begin to heal and regain your vitality.
For instance, someone may ask for help because they are not sleeping well. Rather than just offering a form of medicine that promotes sleep, we will discuss what is going on for that person. The consultation process is in-depth and can last 60-90 minutes. So there is plenty of time to address any health concerns. There are lots of reasons for poor sleep, and we need to find out what is causing the problem. Only then can we make a plan to fix it. What causes poor sleep for one person can be very different for another.
For a quick chat about how herbal medicine can help you, book a free discovery call with me.
If you are interested in becoming a medical herbalist, you can approach one of the associations mentioned above for more information or take a look at the careers service.